Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Wow, is it cold out. We’re having our first seriously cold snap of the winter here in the Boston area. The temperature when I left my house this morning couldn’t have been much above 15 degrees. It made that five minute walk from the parking garage to the train station seem a heck of a lot longer.

I’ve been reading Faithful, the diary of the 2004 season by Stewart O’Nan and Stephen King. I’m only about a third of the way through it, but I’m finding it to be a bit of an odd book. O’Nan and King are obviously not sports writers. They bring a fans sensibility to the book which can make it quite charming in places. I guess my problem with the book is that it doesn’t seem much different than if I had decided to keep a really detailed blog of the 2004 season. They make daily entries, talk about that day’s game, where the Sox are in the standings and comment on things that are going on with the team. They also mix in some personal anecdotes. That’s pretty much what I do here, although I don’t swear nearly as much as King does.

The book is certainly worth reading, if for no other reason that it provides a good, day by day account of the 2004 season from a fans perspective. I guess that with the name “Stephen King” on the cover my expectations for the book were a bit too high. King definitely seems more at home writing about possessed cars and killer dogs than the Red Sox and the Yankees. So, I recommend the book for Red Sox fans, but don’t expect one of the all-time great baseball books.

I took the kids to see Fat Albert yesterday. It was cute and made me chuckle in a few places. J. seemed pretty into the movie, since he wasn’t jumping off his chair every five minutes like he sometimes does. R., on the other hand, started asking, “Is it over yet?” after the first 45 minutes. This coincided with the time we ran out of Junior Mints, so I don’t think there was much coincidence there. I wouldn’t go rushing out to see it again, but it was OK for the kids. I did appreciate that Bill Cosby put a kids movie out that stayed away from toilet humor and bad language. There just aren’t that many of those out there these days, even in movies that are aimed at kids.

Of course, I felt a few more gray hairs develop when J. asked me, “Was Fat Albert a real cartoon?”

I did, unfortunately, end up working this weekend for about five hours on both Saturday and Monday. I was so far behind with my work I really needed the quiet time to get caught up, and I made a good dent in things over the weekend. I figure that five hours on a weekend day is worth at least eight weekday hours, since I don’t have any meetings, the phone isn’t ringing off the hook and no one is wandering into my office to talk about anything.

I’m hoping to, at worst, only work one more Saturday this winter. We have a project due next Monday and I may have to go in next weekend to put the finishing touches on it. I’m hoping I can get it done during the week, but I’ll have to see how things go.

In a couple of weeks, R. goes in for surgery on her foot. Without getting into too many medical details, we’re having it done to fix some issues she was born with. We have been doing Botox injections for the past couple of years, but the orthopedists say there’s not much more we can do in that direction.

R. is going to have to stay overnight in the hospital, and then will be in a cast and can’t put any weight on her foot for six weeks. It’ll be really difficult for her to have to sit around so long. We’re hoping to get her back to school (in a wheelchair) ASAP, but we’re expecting she won’t really be able to go full time until after the February school vacation. It’s going to be tough on all of us, but I’m sure we’ll get through it.

Needless to say, I’m getting more nervous and stressed about this the closer we get to the date. I don’t like the thought of my little girl going under the knife. My only consolation is that we have one of the best pediatric orthopedists in the world doing the surgery. One of the great things about living in Boston is the access to high quality medical care. That said, I’d trade places with her in a heartbeat if I could.

J. is also being impacted by all of this, unfortunately. A. had to cut back some of his activities for this winter, since it’s going to be tough to get around with R. in a wheelchair. He’ll still go to school, of course, but all his weekday after school stuff is being put on hold, and I’ll be bringing him to Tae Kwan Do on Saturdays. To make it up to him a bit, I’m taking him to Florida for a few days during the February vacation. We’re making it a cheap trip. We’ll stay with my parents and use one of their cars. I’ll take J. to Disney for a couple of days, and I still have enough leftover days on my park hopper tickets to cover the time we’ll be down there. We’ll spend some time with my family and have some good father-son time. We’ll be flying down on Song Airlines, the first time I’ve flown out of Logan instead of Green in a long time, so we’ll see how that goes.

Of course, R. will be hopping mad when she finds this out. We’ll be presenting this to her as a “first graders” trip, and that I’ll take her to Florida for a similar trip next year. And, of course, I’ll have to bring her back a nice present.


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